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Comment Re:Matching requirements (Score 1) 260

I call that the "bathroom wall" scenario -- where someone picks a dentist (in this case) because they see the number written on a bathroom wall. In real life that is not how people find someone to pull their teeth.

For the traditional professions (medicine, law, engineering) I give some credence to government licensing. But requiring licensing for interior decorators and tour guides, etc, is just a way to limit competition and extract fees.

I see a lot of "security theater" in both the assumption that bad guys want to become cab drivers in order to commit crimes, and that fingerprinting is some kind of magic solution to preventing that.

Comment Re:states dont want to compete. (Score 1) 236

I would have more sympathy for Italy if it were not so corrupt and inefficient. And a place where tax evasion is apparently a national pastime. And where someone like Silvio Berlusconi can be elected as leader.

You may not like Google, but they are extremely innovative and have a transformational vision.

The Italian government is going after the easy (foreign) target instead of addressing the real domestic issues.

Comment Re:I have a better idea... (Score 1) 649

Typically, the bad decision that bankers made was to lend money on mortgages to people who didn't pay them back. If you would seriously throw away the whole legacy of the rule of law, and retroactively change the law and (forgoing due process) proceed to execute said bankers, you are a lot more dangerous than they are.

Sounds like you were born a couple of centuries too late, you would be a good candidate for the Reign of Terror.

Submission + - France Taxes Rich To Balance Budget (guardian.co.uk)

Punctuated_Equilibri writes: New Socialist French President François Hollande, is facing a big budget deficit. His proposals for this year (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/06/francois-hollande-election-taxes-france?newsfeed=true) are based entirely on taxing the rich, including increasing the top tax rate to 75% and special levies on wealthy individuals and big corporations. Will the success or failure of those policies prove whether or not keeping the rich happy is economically necessary?

Comment Re:Maybe if we eliminated (Score 1) 707

This is +5 insightful? Who determines who gets eliminated, you? Would you eliminate Abraham Lincoln, because he was a politician who took the country to war? What do you think, when the bad guys come into the room you know because there is ominous background music? Oh wait, that's on television.

Comment Re:Why not just move to Somalia? (Score 1) 692

200 years ago, Somalia would have been fair game. Now, international law backed by major powers guarantees the sanctity of Somalia's national borders -- essentially props it up no matter how dysfunctional. So though the Somalians might benefit from being invaded by a neighbor who imposed governance, that can't happen under the current system.

Genghis Khan, History's Greenest Conqueror 279

New research suggests that in addition to being one of history's cruelest conquerors, Genghis Khan may have been the greenest. It is estimated that the Mongol leader's invasions unintentionally scrubbed almost 700 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere. From the article: "Over the course of the century and a half run of the Mongol Empire, about 22 percent of the world's total land area had been conquered and an estimated 40 million people were slaughtered by the horse-driven, bow-wielding hordes. Depopulation over such a large swathe of land meant that countless numbers of cultivated fields eventually returned to forests. In other words, one effect of Genghis Khan's unrelenting invasion was widespread reforestation, and the re-growth of those forests meant that more carbon could be absorbed from the atmosphere." I guess everyone has their good points.
PlayStation (Games)

Split Screen Co-op Is Dying 362

kube00 writes "Split-screen co-op and local multiplayer are becoming things of the past. What happened to cramming a bunch of gamers into a room with two TVs and doing a system link match in Halo? Where have the all-night GoldenEye matches gone? Like the arcades of gamers' youth, the local multiplayer and co-op bonding experience has been replaced with individual gamers and a network."
The Courts

Man Sues Rockstar Saying GTA:SA Is Based On His Life 124

dotarray writes "From the article: 'Rockstar Games are no strangers to legal action, but it doesn't come stranger than this. An American model, Michael Washington (known as "Shagg") is suing the publisher — as well as parent company Take Two Interactive — because they based Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on his life.'" It's a good thing Washington never learned the infinite ammo cheat.

China's Influence Widens Nobel Peace Prize Boycott 360

c0lo writes "Not only did China decline to attend the upcoming Nobel peace prize ceremony, but urged diplomats in Oslo to stay away from the event warning of 'consequences' if they go. Possibly as a result of this (or on their own decisions), 18 other countries turned down the invitation: Pakistan, Iran, Sudan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Colombia, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Iraq, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Venezuela, the Philippines, Egypt, Ukraine, Cuba and Morocco. Reuters seems to think the 'consequences' are of an economic nature, pointing out that half of the countries with economies that gained global influence during recent times are boycotting the ceremony (with Brazil and India still attending)."

Denver Bomb Squad Takes Out Toy Robot 225

An anonymous reader writes "A robot met its end near Coors Field tonight when the Denver Police Department Bomb Squad detonated the 'suspicious object,' bringing to an end the hours-long standoff between police and the approximately eight-inch tall toy. From the article: "'Are you serious?' asked Denver resident Justin Kent, 26, when police stopped him from proceeding down 20th Street. Kent said that he lived just past the closed area, but was told he would have to go around via Park Avenue.'"
Hardware Hacking

Combining Two Kinects To Make Better 3D Video 106

suraj.sun sends this quote from Engadget about improving the Kinect 3D video recordings we discussed recently: "[Oliver Kreylos is] blowing minds and demonstrating that two Kinects can be paired and their output meshed — one basically filling in the gaps of the other. He found that the two do create some interference, the dotted IR pattern of one causing some holes and blotches in the other, but when the two are combined they basically help each other out and the results are quite impressive."

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The means-and-ends moralists, or non-doers, always end up on their ends without any means. -- Saul Alinsky